Review by James Bonner
The Widow's Strike
Dutton Penguin Group
The fourth installment of Brad Taylor’s Pike Logan Series, The Widow’s Strike, pits Pike Logan, Jennifer Cahill and the other members of the Taskforce team up against an imminent apocalyptic terrorist threat, the H5N1 virus. This naturally occurring but manufactured bioweapon is abducted by an obscure Iranian general obsessed with unleashing the awesome power wielded by the Black Widows of Chechnya.
The Black Widows are an extremist faction made up solely of widowed women that resort to suicide bombing after the ruthless Chechen police force targeted their husbands. Elina, a Black Widow, was recommended for a mission beyond that of anything she could have imagined.
From Thailand to Singapore, Hong Kong to New York and Macau to Florida, Pike Logan’s Taskforce finds themselves consistently a step behind General Malik Musavi’s plans of total genocide. In the meantime, each member of the Taskforce team stumbles into their own struggles of personal animosity and traumatic experiences; Jennifer is haunted by events of her past while the others get their egos shaken when Pike puts Jennifer in charge—events that lead the team both into and out of duress. Finally, the team is faced with the unthinkable release of a possible pandemic and they are, reluctantly, forced to come to terms with adverse circumstance.
Though The Widow’s Strike is packaged like a run-of-the-mill suspense thriller, I was pleased to find Brad Taylor's action intriguing and his characters—including Elina the Black Widow and General Malik Musavi—to be well-crafted and convincingly developed. All in all, The Widow’s Strike was an enticing novel, and I applaud Brad Taylor’s career change from a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army to a New York Times bestselling suspense novelist. Under duress, if my choices were between reading Brad Taylor and James Patterson, I would certainly choose Taylor's The Widow's Strike. Pike Logan has earned a place in my heart somewhere between Rambo and Detective John Kimble.
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